Cochlear implant surgery is performed as outpatient surgery under general anesthesia. The surgery lasts between two and three hours. Because the size of the cochlea remains unchanged during development, children receive the same implant as adults. Surgical access to the inner ear is accomplished with minimally invasive techniques and vigilant monitoring of neighboring nerves, allowing for a safe and effective operation, and a short recovery time.
Ear surgeons and audiologists at the Listening Center at Johns Hopkins are at the forefront of an area of cochlear implant research that holds great promise in improving performance. The technique involves improving the ability to excite small, selected fibers within the hearing nerve, using a cochlear implant. This approach more naturally mimics the process of activation that occurs in normal hearing. As the ability to discretely stimulate nerve fibers continues to improve, so does the quality of the listening experience.